Review: Detective Comics #1021
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Brad Walker & Andrew Hennessey
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Batman’s detective work gives him a lead on Two-Face, but Harvey Dent finds Batman first! Are Harvey and Two-Face really two identities at war within one brain? It all leads to a trap for the Caped Crusader!
Detective Comics #1021 is classic Batman. It’s the first thing that stands out about this comic. Classic Batman is always an enjoyable read, be it from 1972, 1984 or anytime to the present. Batman displays his detective skills to find a commonality between the four Two-Faced la dressed deaths last issue and it takes him to the courthouse, or at least it should….
When he encounters Harvey along the way, again, Tomasi delves into Harvey like never before. Harvey has always been plagued by his other identity as Two-Face. This storyline tweaks it slightly showing it as multiple personalities at war for control of Harvey. Perhaps, the most intriguing aspect is when Harvey describes to Batman what things Harvey knows that Two-Face doesn’t know.
Additionally, Batman’s reaction to Harvey is gripping. Batman hasn’t forgotten that Harvey is his friend. Moments like this show the humanity that is often absent from some depictions of Batman, but are a huge part of the classic/timeless portrayal that Tomasi is giving the reader. There are other little details that dive into recognizable Batman tropes. As the Dark Knight surprises the coroner, one can’t help but be amused. But, it’s Batman’s response to the coroner’s reaction that expands the depth of Batman’s character.
Brad Walker does a fine job on framing the scenes and pacing the issue, but really excels at dynamic blocking and posing. It keeps the story plugging along when Tomasi breaks for a bit of character development for Batman or Two-Face.
It’s hard to find fault with a classic and timeless approach to Batman. Some portrayals of the character favor a slightly mentally unbalanced depiction of the Caped Crusader. However, this even tempered Batman that is a skilled detective, mysterious and startling yet still a caring, well-rounded human being is much more satisfying. Tomasi, Walker and Hennessey remind the reader of things that everyone loves about Batman. And, at the same time, there’s no shortage of character development as Batman again attempts to help his friend Harvey who is himself in a mental battle.